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SNA Press Releases

Dan Glickman to Receive 2010 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Paul Alberghine
301-686-3100 Ext. 126
palberghine@schoolnutrition.org

Dan Glickman To Receive 2010 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., October 28, 2009 – The 2010 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition will be awarded to Dan Glickman, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, former Congressman and long-time champion of child nutrition causes worldwide. 

Mr. Glickman, current Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), will be honored by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation at the non-profit’s annual A Possible Dream Gala scheduled for Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.

Dan Glickman will be the eighth recipient of the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition, presented each year to an individual whose work has contributed toward helping the world's poorest children receive adequate nutrition, thrive and reach their full potential.  Other recipients of this award include Senators Bob Dole and George McGovern, Dr. Josephine Martin, Edward Cooney, the Honorable Catherine Bertini, and Marshall Matz.

Mr. Glickman has led the fight to end hunger both domestically and internationally throughout his career.  Most recently, he joined the Honorable Catherine Bertini, former Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, in co-chairing the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Global Agricultural Development Leaders Group.  The group’s findings, Renewing American Leadership in the Fight Against Global Hunger and Poverty, were issued early this year. Under his leadership as Secretary of Agriculture from March 1995 to January 2001, the Department focused extensively on improving our nation's diet and nutrition and on fighting hunger.

Before his appointment as Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Glickman served for 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Kansas' 4th Congressional District. During that time, he served as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, including six years as chairman of the subcommittee that had jurisdiction over most federal farm policy issues.

Mr. Glickman serves as Vice Chairman of the Friends of the World Food Programme and on the board of directors of America's Second Harvest and Food Research and Action Center, among other organizations.

The Global Child Nutrition Foundation (www.gcnf.org) is a nonprofit corporation whose mission and vision are to provide a social safety net and child development opportunities in low income countries through the promotion of school feeding programs. The School Nutrition Association (www.schoolnutrition.org) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.

 

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SNA President Joins Michelle Obama for Healthy Kids Fair on White House Lawn

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Diane Pratt-Heavner, School Nutrition Association
(301) 686-3124
media@schoolnutrition.org

SNA President Joins Michelle Obama for Healthy Kids Fair on White House Lawn 

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (October 21, 2009) – Today, upon invitation of Sam Kass, Assistant Chef and the Food Initiative Coordinator at the White House, School Nutrition Association President Dora Rivas, R.D. joined First Lady Michelle Obama on the White House lawn as part of a Healthy Kids Fair. 

Rivas, Executive Director of Food and Child Nutrition Services for the Dallas Independent School District in Texas, was joined by the school district’s Nutrition Specialist Vahista Bharucha-Ussery, R.D. Bharucha-Ussery, a registered dietitian and chef, worked alongside White House Chefs in a healthy cooking demonstration, while Rivas hosted a nutrition education station featuring the healthy meals served to Dallas ISD students through school breakfast and lunch programs.

Dora Rivas with President Obama

SNA President Dora Rivas and Nutrition Specialist Vahista Bharucha-Ussery join White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses on the South Lawn during Michelle Obama's Healthy Kids Fair.

The Healthy Kids Fair was designed to promote good nutrition and physical activity for young people.  First Lady Michelle Obama visited the nutrition stations, sampled the Frittata and Spiced Apples prepared during the cooking demonstration and joined local school children in obstacle course and other physical activity stations.

SNA Applauds Obama Administration for Commitment to Child Nutrition Programs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Diane Pratt-Heavner, School Nutrition Association
(301) 686-3124

media@schoolnutrition.org

SNA Applauds Obama Administration for Commitment to Child Nutrition Programs
Rising Costs for School Meals Require Increased Funding

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (October 23, 2009) – Following Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s comments on the upcoming reauthorization of Child Nutrition Programs, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) applauded the Obama Administration for its strong commitment to strengthening the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. 

During a national conference call, Secretary Vilsack specifically acknowledged the work of SNA and school nutrition professionals nationwide while noting the “heavy burden” placed on schools to serve nutritious meals to 31 million children every school day. 

Secretary Vilsack renewed the Administration’s pledge to provide an additional $1 billion to support child nutrition programs and called for increased training opportunities for school nutrition professionals, as well as consistent, national nutrition standards for all foods served during the school day – goals promoted by SNA.
 
“The Obama Administration clearly recognizes the importance of school meals to the health and academic success of America’s children, and is committed to strengthening under-funded school nutrition programs,” said School Nutrition Association President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS, and executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services for the Dallas Independent School District in Texas.  “The priorities outlined today by Secretary Vilsack strongly reflect recommendations made by the School Nutrition Association over the past year, and we appreciate his understanding.”

The School Nutrition Association has been calling on Congress to increase the school meal reimbursement for all meals to keep pace with rising costs and to provide schools with the support they need to expand offerings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  The Institute of Medicine earlier this week reinforced that need and issued recommendations to increase servings of these healthy items in school meals.

SNA’s 2009 School Nutrition Operations Report found that nationwide, nearly every school district offers students fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and salad bars or pre-packaged salads. School nutrition programs are working hard to provide students with an even greater variety of healthy foods, but they struggle to manage the cost of these enhancements:

  • In Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia, the switch to whole grain buns for sandwiches cost the 12,000 student district nearly $75,000.
  • Last year, Beavercreek City Schools in Ohio (enrollment 8,000) served 87,000 packages of apple slices at a cost of 30 cents a serving.  The apple slices are a more popular and more nutritious choice than canned applesauce, but they are more than double the price and cost the schools about $15,000 more than the canned applesauce.
  • In Polk County Public Schools in Florida, canned green beans run 11 cents a serving, while fresh green beans cost 17 cents a serving.  Multiply the 6 cent difference by 92,000 students, and you spend an additional $5,520 on a side dish, just for one school day.

SNA found that the average cost to prepare and serve a school lunch that meets federal nutritional standards at the start of school year 2008-2009 was $2.92.  The federal reimbursement rate for that free lunch is only $2.68 for school year 2009-2010, leaving financially strapped schools to make up the substantial funding gap.  In a recent survey of school nutrition directors, SNA found that over half of school districts expect to face continued increases in the cost of food, supplies, labor, gas and transportation.

The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.


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SNA Responds To Institute Of Medicine’s Recommendations For The National School Lunch And Breakfast Programs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Diane Pratt-Heavner, School Nutrition Association
(301) 686-3124

media@schoolnutrition.org

SNA Responds to Institue of Medicine's Recommendations for the National School Lunch  and Breakfast Programs

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (October 20, 2009) – Today, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released “School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children,” issuing recommendations to update the nutrition and meal standards for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Programs.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) welcomed the recommendations and called on Congress to provide school nutrition programs with the financial support necessary to bring these changes to the lunch line.

“School nutrition programs offer children well-balanced, healthy meals, but just like our students, we are constantly working to improve ourselves,” said School Nutrition Association President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS, and executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services for the Dallas Independent School District in Texas.  “The Institute of Medicine’s recommendations offer schools critical guidance for ongoing efforts to enhance the nutrition of school meals. 

“However, school nutrition programs, long under-funded and pressured by rising costs, will need more than just ‘Building Blocks’ to improve on our success,” said Rivas.  “Congress needs to provide the mortar through higher federal reimbursement rates for school meals.”

SNA’s 2009 School Nutrition Operations Report found that nationwide, nearly every school district offers students fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and salad bars or pre-packaged salads, and nearly all school districts prepare at least some of their bakery items, entrees or side dishes from scratch.

Yet an SNA report released last week found that school nutrition programs are increasingly pressured by rising costs and a federal reimbursement rate for free lunches that doesn’t keep up with the expense of preparing a meal.  SNA is calling on Congress to provide greater federal support for school meals during reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act this fall.

The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

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Related Links

School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children - Institute of Medicine Report

 

In the Pressure Cooker: School Meals Face Rising Costs and Participation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
(301) 686-3124
media@schoolnutrition.org

In the Pressure Cooker:  School Meals Face Rising Costs and Participation
Federal reimbursement for free meals doesn’t cover the costs, according to School Nutrition Association report released during National School Lunch Week (Oct. 12-16).

National Harbor, Md. (October 14, 2009) – As more of America’s children are depending on free and reduced price school meals during the economic downturn, schools are grappling with rising costs that surpass the federal reimbursement rate for these meals. 

According to a  new School Nutrition Association (SNA) report , released during National School Lunch Week (Oct. 12-16), three-quarters of school nutrition directors surveyed nationwide said that the National School Lunch Program Reimbursement was not sufficient to cover the costs of producing a meal during the 2008-2009 school year, nor do they anticipate the reimbursement to cover costs for the current school year. 

SNA has found that the average cost to prepare and serve a school lunch that meets federal nutritional standards is $2.92, but the federal reimbursement rate for that free lunch is only $2.68, leaving financially strapped schools to make up the substantial funding gap.  SNA is calling on Congress to provide greater federal support for school meals during reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act this fall.

“School nutrition programs offer affordable, healthy meals to students, and we are working to keep meal prices reasonable, but schools are getting squeezed by federal reimbursements that simply do not keep pace with rising costs on everything from food and labor to napkins and spoons,” said School Nutrition Association President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS, and executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services for the Dallas Independent School District in Texas.

Over half of school districts indicated that they expect to face continued increases in the cost of food, supplies, labor, gas and transportation.  In spite of these additional financial pressures, school nutrition programs are not compromising on nutritional quality.  School nutrition professionals are addressing fiscal challenges in a variety of ways. 

  • 46 percent plan to decrease their labor force
  • 45 percent plan to increase meal and/or A la Carte prices
  • 44 percent plan to decrease financial reserves

Financial challenges faced by school nutrition programs come as student participation rates are higher than ever before.  With the U.S. unemployment rate at 9.5% last month, more students are qualifying for free or reduced price lunches.

  • In the 2008-2009 school year alone, 800,000 additional students received free and reduced price lunches.
  • 78 percent of school nutrition directors surveyed have already noticed an increased number of students eligible to receive free or reduced price meals for the 2009-2010 school year.

Furthermore, while rising school enrollment contributes to increasing participation in the National School Lunch Program, school lunch participation gains during the 2008-2009 school year were more than five times the gains in student enrollment.

“No one can deny the importance of a healthy meal in contributing to a child’s academic success,” said Rivas.  “During reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, Congress must increase funding for school nutrition programs to ensure students continue to receive healthy, balanced school meals.”

“In the Pressure Cooker:  School Meals Race Rising Costs & Participation” is an analysis of two surveys conducted by the School Nutrition Association in 2009.  SNA’s School Nutrition Operations Survey included detailed information on issues impacting school nutrition from 1,207 school nutrition directors nationwide.  Building on these findings, in September 2009, SNA conducted a Back to School Trends Survey which focused on understanding the financial pressures school nutrition programs have faced in the current and previous school years.  This survey netted 310 responses.


SNA, the School Nutrition Association, is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

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Related Links

 In the Pressure Cooker: School Meals Face Rising Costs & Participation


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